Malaysia Facts

Score: 60 / 100
Region: Asia
Persecution Type: Islamic Oppression
Persecution Level: High
Population: 32,042,000
Christians: 2,946,000
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
Leader: King Muhammad V

Profile of Persecution

Violence 9%
Church Life 52%
National Life 70%
Community Life 72%
Family Life 85%
Private Life 71%

A cautious hope

Christians in Malaysia and other minorities are hopeful that life under their new, more moderate government will improve. However, the Constitution still prohibits converting from Islam to other religions, and the courts still often favor Muslims over minority group members in legal matters such as divorce or child custody. In addition, women who convert are often threatened with rape or forced marriage.

How Christians are suffering

Ethnic Malay people are expected to be Muslim and therefore face the most severe forms of Christian persecution when they convert to Christianity. Anyone who deviates from their native beliefs not only goes against the Constitution but also against society at large—including its power holders. Roman Catholics and Methodists are often watched by authorities, but non-traditional Protestant groups active in testifying about their faith are targeted more.


All children in state-run nursery and primary schools are required to attend Islamic education. In state schools, Muslim pupils (including Christians with a Muslim background) are required to attend Islamic classes. At the university level, Islamic courses are also mandated.

In February 2017, Pastor Raymond Koh was abducted in broad daylight. The country’s Human Rights Commission has attempted to investigate this incident but has been prevented from freely proceeding with their investigation.

Pray for Malaysia

  • Pray for Christian children who are required to attend Islamic education courses required by state-run schools.
  • Pray the new government will pursue those responsible for the abduction of three Christian workers abducted in 2016 and 2017.
  • Pray for Evangelical, Baptist, Pentecostal and other groups who face monitoring, intimidation and harassment.
  • Pray the government will pave the way for an independent investigation of Pastor Koh’s disappearance and bring his abductors to justice.

Stories from Malaysia

March 8, 2019

Hidden Wounds—Christians Say Rape Is ‘Common’ Persecution Method Against Women

Around the world, Increasing numbers of Christian women are doubly vulnerability to persecution—for both their faith and their gender.


February 13, 2019

Wife of Abducted Pastor Raymond Koh: ‘God Will Turn Evil Plans for Good’

On the eve of the two-year anniversary of the abduction of Malaysian Pastor Raymond Koh, Susanna Koh reflected on her…


July 9, 2018

How Malaysia and North Korea Inspire Us to Pray Impossible Prayers

Recent events in Malaysia and North Korea inspire us to continue to fervently pray, especially when it seems as if…